One of the driving goals at Next Wave Impact is to increase diversity in angel investing and high growth entrepreneurship. Our first pilot programs in 2015 and 2016 sought to narrow the gender gap in angel investing by providing nearly 200 women a unique learning opportunity that allowed them to build a diversified portfolio of investments, receive mentoring by women who were experienced angel investors, and participate in an education & training program around angel investing. We completed two pilots: a US program in partnership with Portfolia and a Europe program in partnership with Go Beyond Investing and the European Business Angel Network. We also partnered with the Angel Capital Association on the education and training piece, which was supported by the Kauffman Foundation. Our new fund, Next Wave US Impact Fund I, also seeks to increase diversity in angel investing by engaging more underrepresented groups in early stage investing. The focus of the new fund is on impact investing and we will seek investments that achieve both social impact and financial return.
The Next Wave US Impact Fund I is an approved fund listed in Impact Base, the global online directory of impact investment vehicles. According to the Global Impact Investing Network (the “GIIN”), impact investments are defined as investments that are made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
We have also set up a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, the Next Wave Foundation, which will focus on supporting education and training programs in emerging markets, as well as building a more inclusive global network of women investors and entrepreneurs (and the men who support them).
The Next Wave Network is a global movement to increase women’s participation in angel investing as an asset class. It has been developed to provide an enriching investment experience; including an investment portfolio in start-ups, an education of the investment process, and the development of a global angel community of successful business women across the US, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.